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Deadline nearing for talent contest ‘Alter Ego 2014’

DYH 13 winner Emily Grace

Closing date for applications for Hackney’s biggest talent show is midnight, Friday 10 January

Live auditions, Saturday 11 January, 10am to 6pm

Live show, Friday 7 February, 7:30pm to 11pm

Hosted by Kat B at Hackney Empire


Budding performers aged 13-19 who live in Hackney need to get their application for the Alter Ego auditions by no later than midnight on Friday 10 January.

Alter Ego is an annual talent competition, showcasing the best of Hackney’s talent, presented by Discover Young Hackney and Hackney Empire. The competition will provide young people the platform to showcase their talents to a live audience and industry judges.

There are two ways to apply

Upload a video audition by midnight, Friday 10 January 2014 to www.hackneyempire.co.uk/alterego. One lucky online entrant will be voted through to the live finals.

Audition in person on Saturday 11 January 2014, 10am – 6pm at Hackney Empire. Hopefuls can book their audition slot at alterego@hackneyempire.co.uk including their name, age, contact details and type of act. Or by calling 020 8510 4396.


Cllr Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture, Hackney Council
Last year’s festival was an amazing success. There’s an incredible amount of talent and energy amongst young people in the borough. Discover Young Hackney is designed to harness that talent and give young people the practical tools and information they need to get on the right career path, through a very exciting programme of events.
Cllr Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture, Hackney Council

Finalists will go on to participate in four development workshops to hone and improve their performances led by professional choreographers, directors and musicians. These workshops will nurture and prepare the contestants to take to the stage with confidence, enabling them to give the performance of their lives in front of a live audience and a stellar line-up of judges to be announced in early 2014.

Past guest judges have included; Mobo award winners Akala and Rudimental; British rappers Paigey Cakey, Lady Leshurr and Krept & Konan and 1Xtra presenter Twin B. Finalists will perform to 1300 people at the final event on Friday 7 February at the Hackney Empire.

The winner of Alter Ego 2014 will receive a prize package consisting of mentoring by industry professionals, rehearsal and studio time, professional makeover and photo shoot session plus a soft launch with a well-known record label for singers/rappers. The winner will be invited back to perform at Alter Ego 2015, Hackney Empire and other venues throughout the year.

Last year’s winner, Emily Grace, said: "Participating and winning the title of 'Alter Ego 13' was one of the most exciting experiences yet. If anything, it has opened a door to many more showcases, competitions and gigs in prestigious venues all over London. I am currently working on my first album entitled 'Heart & Mind' which will be out in the New Year. It was truly an honour to perform on the Hackney Empire stage alongside other young and talented Hackney residents."

Emily will be performing as a guest artist at Alter Ego 2014.The Alter Ego 2014 live final will be hosted by Kat B, MTV Base presenter, with special appearances from top artists. Audiences will text vote for their favourite contestant on the night.

Entries are welcomed from performers aged 13-19 who live in Hackney. Auditions can be made online by uploading a video or, entrants can come along to the live auditions to wow the judges with their singing, dancing, rapping, musical, acting or comedy skills. Discover Young Hackney, now in its eighth year, is Hackney Council’s borough wide festival of performing, visual and media arts events for 13-19 year olds held during February.